Leah Carr began her real estate career in 1994 as a property manager with Margules Properties, Inc. and as a manager of its affiliate maintenance company, Manhattan Renewal Corp. when the companies had just three employees.
As Margules Properties, Inc. grew from a small firm with a portfolio of three buildings into a dynamic investment and management company with over $300 million in assets, Carr was promoted to managing director. Beginning in 2014, she assumed the additional role of acquisitions manager for new investments.
Prior to joining Margules Properties, Inc., Carr spent twelve years as an account manager at numerous global advertising agencies in New York City. She is a graduate of New York University with a degree in Art History. She lives in New York City with her family.
What made you decide to get into property management? How long have you been at it? What were you doing before you got into this field?
I started working at Margules Properties when the firm was established in the early 1990s by my former husband, Eric Margules. I got into property management because we decided the best thing for the company would be for me to invest my time and energy into helping him build the business. Before Margules Properties, I was an account manager at J. Walter Thompson ad agency in New York.
What are the hottest areas in NYC for property management right now?
We are focused on buying assets in the outer boroughs of Manhattan and in the sixth borough, Jersey City. There are many great neighborhoods in Queens and in Journal Square, New Jersey that offer great housing stock and are close to public transportation. With all the new multi-family development, our properties offer a more affordable option for renters.
What is an important risk management issue that you are dealing with in real estate today?
Property managers who are not focused on keeping up with rent regulations as well as managing their assets efficiently and effectively are at risk. We invest heavily in our properties and intend to hold them for the long term. It’s critical to do the work and do it well for our tenants and for our investors. In addition, our name is on the door, so we have to do it well for ourselves.
Tell us about some of your projects.
Since 1992, with the first purchase of three buildings in Chelsea (which we still own today), the company’s assets have ballooned from $2 million to over $300 million. Margules Properties has a great track record and I’m very proud to be a part of the team.
What is your secret weapon for sealing a deal?
Gain leverage by always having a plan B. I like to put forth a realistic, aggressive effort and be prepared to walk away. There’s always plan B.
What pushes you to the next level?
I like to learn and to challenge myself. There’s always something new to achieve in life. Moving forward makes life so much more interesting and fun.
Who inspires you?
Eric Margules has put a lot of faith in me. The company means a lot to us and to the many dedicated employees that work for us. I feel a great responsibility to continue to help the company and its employees to grow.
If you had to work in a city other than New York, where would it be? Why?
Is there another city? I’m kidding of course…there’s no other place I’d rather be!
What background/credentials would be advisable to have to start out in the property management business? What advice would you give to someone starting out?
At the entry level, we look to hire people who are bright, detail-oriented, and want to learn. Having an interest in real estate is important as well. Mostly, we can teach bright individuals the nuts and bolts. They just have to come in with passion, smarts, and curiosity.
Managing Director, Margules Properties
381 Park Avenue South, #1420
New York, NY 10016
212-684-7079 x 11